Newton Edmunds of Ypsilanti, MI was appointed the chief clerk in the surveyors-general office. He arrived in Yankton in June 1861 and advised the residents that the surveyor-general’s office would accept preemption claims until the opening of the land office. Edmunds became a corporal in Company A, Dakota Militia on August 30, 1862, during the conflict with the Dakota, (Sioux). Edmunds was the only resident of Dakota Territory to be appointed governor of the territory. He served from October 5, 1863 until August 8, 1866.